A Nottingham City Council corporate director has been honoured in an annual awards ceremony celebrating women in business.

Alison Michalska, who has responsibility for Children and Adults at the authority, scooped the Women In Public Service category of the Nottingham Post Women In Business Awards 2017.

The awards have been held for the past five years and seek to champion the efforts that women make to the local business community.

Alison started her career in the late 1980s as a social worker, initially in children’s services and then moving into the area of adults and older people. She also became one of the first specialist mental health social workers for older people.

Her work has taken her to a range of local authorities across the country, including large county councils, city and metropolitan areas and unitary authorities. She joined Nottingham City Council in November 2013 and arrived from East Riding of Yorkshire Council where she was the Director of Children, Family and Adult Services.

Current responsibilities in Nottingham include all areas related to children’s services, adult social care, public health and schools, including safeguarding and commissioning.

Alison is also the president for the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, which is a key national role.

She said: “I’m delighted to have won this award, particularly because I was up against two other fantastic candidates in my category. I’d like to pay testament to the enormously talented, supportive colleagues and staff in my directorate who continue to work so hard on our challenging agenda.”

In Alison’s time at Nottingham City Council, she has achieved:

  • Children’s social care Ofsted rating rising from ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’
  • Integrated youth and family support services, and early years provision with social care services
  • Improved school attendance across Nottingham
  • Key Stage 1 and 2 Progress data for reading, writing and maths is now above the national average
  • Attainment for children in care at record levels
  • Expanded accessible employment opportunities for vulnerable and disengaged young people, especially care leavers
  • Driven a schools re-organisation programme and established the Nottingham Education Improvement Board
  • All children’s homes now rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’
  • Increased the number of foster carers in the city
  • Latest breastfeeding rates in Nottingham are higher than the national average

Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Years and Early Intervention at Nottingham City Council, said: “This award is richly deserved and I’m delighted for Alison. She has been great to work with on a variety of challenging issues within my portfolio and she is an ambassador for Nottingham through her work with the Association of Directors of Children’s Services.”

Ian Curryer, Chief Executive of Nottingham City Council, said: “We’re very proud of Alison’s achievements in her time here in Nottingham. She is one of a number of hugely talented women who hold senior positions within the authority and it’s great to have her efforts acknowledged in this way.”

Nottingham Post editor Mike Sassi said: “Now in its fifth year, the Women In Business Awards have gone from strength to strength. The Post is very proud to provide a platform for all these people to showcase their talents and achievements.”